Monthly Archives: April 2012

Toonik Tyme in Iqaluit…

It’s been a busy few days here in Iqaluit.  Toonik Tyme started on last Thursday evening with the opening ceremonies.  What is Toonik Tyme you might be asking yourself? It started back in a spring festival.  This is the time where the sun has returned, and the bitter cold days start to get warmer…a perfect time to get outside and celebrate with friends from the community! *check out the link above for more information.

Part of my ‘stay-cation’ here in Iqaluit was to be able to participate in some of the Toonik Tyme Events.  Just to warn you–this is a post FILLED with photos…so ENJOY!

Thursday April 12th a few friends and I headed to the curling rink for the Opening Ceremonies.  It was a fantastic evening of celebration with lots of live music!  Every year there is an Honorary Toonik this year Solomon Awa was chosen.  Solomon was the leader of the successful bowhead whale hunt that happened near Iqaluit this past August.

There were lots of music…the Inuksuk Drum Dancers took to the stage for a few songs.

Two very talented throat singers…shared a few songs.  Throat singing traditionally was done between two or more women.  It often mimicked sounds in nature… one woman would lead and the other would follow with similar sounds.  It is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard, it’s so hard to explain in words what it sounds like!

This year’s Toonik Tyme has a theme of diversity.  One of the groups that played were Koel & the Twin Otters…they sang some Traditional Chinese songs, and some Indian Love songs!

..this group performed songs with a reggae inspired beat!  The one I loved was the “IQ” song… (not 100% sure of the actual title).

One of the last groups to perform were The Jerry Cans!  It was some great tunes that made you want to get on your feet and DANCE! (that is if you can keep up to the accordian!~)

Friday April 13th- I went to the Family Sledding party…on the Road to Nowhere Hill!

Later that night I joined my friend Leslie for the “Giant” Bingo… I was within 1 number on two different games of getting BINGO, sadly I missed out on the $10,000 pot!

Above is the photo of the winner-Hannah Stoney from Iqaluit.  She brought her “lucky” elephant with her when she came to play, which a co-worker of her husbands brought it back from India. I suppose next giant bingo-I need to get a ‘lucky’ elephant!

Saturday, April 14th– was a crazy busy day!  I started off the day by heading out with 2 friends to get in line for the craft sale. There were so many wonderful things… I ended up with three new things- a pair of earings, a knitted scarf/cowl thingie and a seal skin headband. Afterwards my friends and I went to breakfast… and caught up since it had been awhile since we had all hung out!

I went to the RCMP BBQ…and took a turn to ‘strike’ a pose with Safety Bear!

There was also an Ice Sculpture Carving Contest… I ended up not seeing the carvings happen (I was at the Igloo building contest.) But took a ‘before’ picture and returned ‘after’ to see what had been made!  It was amazing to see what someone had turned the block of ice into!

It was pretty amazing to see the Igloos being made.  It was my first time to actually “SEE” it happen.  (I had visited an Igloo in Igloolik-but didn’t get to see it being made!) I took a HEAP of photos… so here are some that made the cut for the blog!

Below you can see how the Igloos were slowly formed… brick by brick!

I am NO expert at making an Igloo… I’m going to share with you some of my observations-which may or may not be 100% correct, but it’s what I observed and then my interpretations of that!  To start off… you need snow blocks.  So the igloo builders started with saws and a machete like looking knife… to cut deep down into the snow to make rectangular blocks.  This created a ‘hole’ or a spot to build the igloo around.  The blocks then are placed on top of each other… and ‘shaved’ into place. It’s a fine art watching a block being picked and then placed… sometimes a few got ‘rejected’ and thrown outside of the igloo.  Most of the igloo makers when they got to a certain spot in the building–they finished the roof by building it from the INSIDE out.

Solomon Awa was the judge for the competition… which was for the best ‘shaped’ igloo in the fastest time.  While he was waiting he made an igloo!  The photos below are him working on it.  You can see him fitting on the final top block, cutting it down to size… coming out of the Igloo (he had to cut his way OUT of the completed igloo)…and enjoying a Tim’s Coffee!

After Solomon had caught his breath… he took a moment to look around, and went over to help this guy.  He gave some pointers and instructions. It was really neat to see how he shared some of his amazing knowledge with one of the participants in the challenge!

Finishing up the top…

Below is a picture of Joshua Kango who won a round-trip Canadian North ticket from Iqaluit to Ottawa for the igloo he made.

Then came the fun part of being able to go inside the igloos!  Here I am in the one that Solomon made… (I only went into one of them). Normally the ‘cracks’ would be covered with packed snow…but when that doesn’t happen u get a really cool effect on the inside!

The Igloo making was a highlight of my day… it was so great to be able to watch how they are made.  I just want to thank all the Igloo makers for their hard work!  (They all got their ‘sweat’ on while cutting and placing all of those snow blocks!)

I also was able to go to the bannock and tea making competition.  It was neat to see everyone huddling around the coleman stoves and getting their baking groove on…all dressed in their winter gear!

The last event I attended was the concert at the curling rink.  The evening started off with three different local acts and then The Stanfields a band from Nova Scotia took to the Toonik Tyme Stage. Here’s a shot of the Stanfields on the stage…

I think I might have enjoyed the night a bit more if my tailbone wasn’t so sore…(I fell Friday afternoon, and bruised/injured it… still sore as I type this). But that’s not to say I didn’t have fun with the with the friends I was with.  Some of the highlights were the 6 bags of Mini Chips that Nathalie bought for the bargain price of $20.  (she got them from the Racket Club upstairs…) Yup, those bags were approx. $3.33 each!  This was something that Nathalie and I found VERY funny! But they were tasty and such salty goodness!

…Sunday I was too sore, with my tailbone..and ended up visiting with some friends so didn’t get out to the sea ice to participate in any of the activities out there!

Tonight was the closing ceremonies and feast…but I was at the airport and on my way back to Pang!  I had a blast at the activities that I attended… It was worth the vacation and time to in Iqaluit to participate.  If you ever get the chance… you should totally visit Iqaluit during Toonik Tyme!

“A Small Seed of Hope”…

At the beginning of February I saw a message on my friend Anna’s FaceBook page.  It was about a ‘Kickstarter’ Project for her friend Ahna Phillips.  I’ve never met Ahna…but being the curious person I am, I clicked over to check out her project on Kickstarter.  Kickstarter is a website where people can ‘raise’ money from friends and strangers in order to complete a project.  There are many different ones on the sites from creating Cd s, to movies to building community parks.  The person in charge of their project sets a ‘funding’ goal…and a date to reach that amount.  Then they come up with different incentives for people who pledge different amounts.  The ‘kicker’ is that the you don’t give any money to the project unless 100% of the funds were raised.

Here you can see the video Ahna created to kick start her project.
Ahna’s project was fully funded by March 1st…then recorded in the month of March and now as of April 1st  is ON SALE! It was really neat to be a small part of making someone’s dreams come true.  I know that I’ve had help over the years making some of my dreams come true…so it’s nice to pass that along to someone else! I was so excited to download my copy of the CD.  There’s something about her music that just speaks to me…and her song “If I were brave”…already has become a favourite.

You can check out Ahna’s CD “A Small Seed of Hope” through clicking on the tab and listening.

If you’d like to buy a copy of the music head over to her page  Ahna Phillips CD “A Small Seed of Hope” .

Thanks Ahna for letting me be a part of your project! Can’t wait to see what future brings you…all the best!

Happy Easter…

Hope the Easter Bunny found you.. and left you some goodies! Image

Photo taken Easter 2011 at the Forks in Winnipeg, Manitoba

This is my 4th Easter without heading down to the Woodbine Beach in Toronto.  My old church (the Rez) heads down to the beach to watch the sunrise on Easter morning.  I hope you guys had fun…here in Nunavut the sun is rising about 5:17am so I’m not going to be getting up to watch it! (that’s way too early…) Instead I’ll celebrate with friends in Iqaluit!

Matthew 28:6-10

6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” 8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

Photo a Day April: Days 1 to 6

Wow, short work weeks are always the busiest!  I’m excited for lots of reasons…but the main one is I’m on holidays and visiting friends in Iqaluit!

Here I go for my next photo project with Photo-a-Day-April thanks to @FatMumSlim for putting together another amazing list of photo prompts.  I’m going to try to think-outside-of-the-box…but already in the first 6 days…I think I’ll need some more work on that aspect.  I  will post my photos every Friday! I’m excited because a couple of my friends from university are doing this too!  Michelle’s photos can be found HERE.

Day 1:  your reflection…

I was looking through some photos from my Christmas vacation…and saw the photo below… I never posted it..and love my reflection in my Aunt’s horse’s eye!

Day 2: colour…

Blue is MY favourite colour…here’s my Haliburton Teddy Bear sitting on my bed!

Day 3: mail…

…my Easter package didn’t arrive yet!(..that’s ok because Easter will last LONGER now!) But I did get the regular, bills…magazines…& coupons for my favourite clothing store(sad thing is they are IN STORE ONLY, wont’ be using those!)

Day 4: someone who makes you happy… 

* Photo taken in Cozumel, Mexico 2011 *

Kim is an amazing friend, and friends make me happy!  I’m excited that I get to spend some time visiting her while I’m in Iqaluit…. (on Wednesday, the day of the prompt…it was just 2 more sleeps until I left on my trip).

Day 5: tiny…

* Photo Taken April 2009: At Crater Lake, Auyuittuq National Park *

On Thursday, I was flipping through photos and found the one above…taken from a trip to the Arctic Circle in Auyuittuq National Park.  We were walking across Crater Lake.  It struck me that those people are so tiny…and natural landscape we live in is so majestic.

Day 6: lunch…

* Photo taken with the Hipstamatic App on my iPhone *

Lunch today…plane food… on my hour flight from Pang to Iqaluit! It wasn’t as appetizing as it looks…yahoo for ‘soggy’ sandwiches, I think I prefer the toasted sandwich that has the potential to be a bit frozen on the inside over a SOGGY non-toasted sandwich.  (that’s just a difference depending on which company you fly with!)

Happy 40th Anniversary Pangnirtung!

Today was Hamlet Day…and it was a special one, because it was the 40th Anniversary of Pangnirtung.  The Recreation Committee organized such an amazing day packed full of awesome activities-speeches, games, contests…a feast and an Inuktitut Dance/Concert!  So much fun!  I had the afternoon off so I joined in on the fun at 1pm and didn’t get home until just after 8:30pm…it was a long but fun day.

The opening ceremonies were at 1pm at the Community Centre.  There were speeches and well wishes from the Premier Eva Aariak, Minister of Community and Government Services Lorne Kusugak, Deputy Minister of Education Kathy Okpik, MLA Hezeciah Ooshootapik and the Mayor of Pangnirtung Sakiasie Sowdlooapik. (I hope I didn’t forget to mention anyone–but I might have, that’s not my intention though!)

After the speeches everyone headed outside and there was a candy toss.  People got on the roof of the Community Centre…and then toss candy out into the crowd!  I ended up with 1 tootsie roll..which was an awesome score!

Then games started, everyone broke into three groups… Kids under 12, Over 13 years (that’s my group) and then the Elders.  The Over 13 years old group headed to the beach for games.  The first game was a dice game–roll doubles and you are out (I rolled doubles on my 2nd roll!)…the next game we played was a golfing one-had to get a hole-in-one…(think SNOW, YELLOW golf ball, and a badminton birdie behind the was no SURPRISE that I was not a winner at this one either!).  Then we played another dice game…when you rolled a certain number–you had to go into the middle and pick up a small hair elastic (the numbers randomly changed with this game)..and the idea was at the end the person with the most elastic won!  The next game was a marshmallow toss–think egg toss, but eggs were too pricey…so substitute an egg!  The last game was a traditional Inuit game.. of a rock toss…you had 3 tries to hit one rock off of another one.  The women I was playing with had MAD skillz… again it was a lot of fun to play, chat and watch others…But after the afternoon in outside I was ready to get warm at the end!

Kids playing…I took this shot about an hour before one of the kids that were playing on the stacked docks… fell or slipped or jumped (not 100% sure what happened)…and landed funny and hurt themselves.  They were taken to the Health Centre to get medical care…I hope that they are feeling better now, and weren’t too seriously injured.

After the games, I headed back up to the community centre to go look at the Fisherman’s Catch.  It was a contest to display random, weird things that were caught that were NOT turbot fish!  All the objects were found from DEEP down in the Cumberland Sound. There was quite a few really random and slimy things on display…. shells, octopus-or something that looked like it? squid?, bottom feeder fish, jelly fish… and somethings that I had no clue what they were, and am glad that the water is as cold as it is…because even if it was SAUNA hot, I wouldn’t be caught in the same water as them!

Next on the agenda was the Community Feast…so I made my way up to the High School Gym. Found myself a seat and visited with friends..and watched people.  Oh how I miss going to random busy spots sitting down and watching people.  I use to love to go to Dundas Square in Toronto just for this reason.  I got my people watching fix in while waiting for awards to happen, and feast to start.  Before the feast  Premier Eva Aariak presented the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal to Jenna Kilabuk and Jayko Ishulutak.  Jenna has done a ton of work for the community in organizing events and is also a role model for youth.  Jayko is a full-time carver and also very active in the community.

Here are some photos of the setting up of the feast… Some hunters brought in cardboard boxes, broke them down and started arranging various cuts of meat on it.  Caribou, seal and arctic char… Then pieces of plastic sheeting was cut up and placed around the gym…and the meat was distributed on it!

There was also Caribou and Char Stew…(I had the Char Stew it was yummy!)…turkey, cooked turbot and seal…plus lots of veggies, fruit, cheese and crackers!  Don’t forget about the deep fried bannok…it’s the donut of the north! SO DARN GOOD! And there was chocolate cake as well… so glad I got a picture of it before it disappeared–literally in like 10mins!

There was a fashion show of dresses/outfits made out of garbage bags!  They were all SO amazing… it was hard to believe that they were just plastic garbage bags!

Well done ladies!  Thanks for showing us your awesome designs…

The evening ended with an Inuktitut Dance…love the accordion music…once my feet start moving, it’s hard to stop them! Many people were just listening and tapping their feet…it’s hard not to!  I posted a YouTube video “Feel the Inukness” that featured some a tune by Simeonie Keenainak. (Below is a photo of Simeonie playing his accordion.)

It was an awesome day… thanks to all the planning and hard work to the Hamlet Recreation Committee!  The day was such a great way to celebrate 40 years of Pangnirtung…and look forward to the next 40 years!

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